Brontosaurus didn’t survive because it outgrew its possibilities.
With this motto and with Vladimír Jiránek’s logo, Akce Brontosaurus (“Action: Brontosaurus”) was born in January 1974. It was a reaction to the Year of the Environment which was proclaimed by the United Nations.
Akce Brontosaurus was driven forward primarily by journalist Josef Velek. Although it was originally conceived as a one-year campaign only, the response from young people was so overwhelming that it was turned into an educational program of unlimited duration, teaching its participants to think and behave more environmentally-friendly. The Brontosaurus Movement was born; almost immediately, it became immensely popular. We educated our organizers; created a new event methodology; and founded regional centers. As early as 1974, we organized our very first weekend and summer events in the countryside. From 1978 onwards, people could have become participants of our summer camps devoted to helping the environment – Prázdniny s Brontosaurem – that remain, to this day, one of the main parts of the Brontosaurus Movement programs.
During the 80’s, hundreds of events took place, with thousands of people participating in them. The Brontosaurus Movement offered them at least some degree of freedom, as well as meaningful work for the environment or historic objects. To be in the countryside, at least partially outside of an oppressive and restricted totalitarian regime, to plan and organize new interesting events and to see in all that the truly beneficial effect that it was having on environmental protection – young people were simply drawn to that.
In January 1990, the first conference of the Brontosaurus Movement took place. It was on this day that the organization as we know it today was born. In the following years, there was on ongoing discussion about the path that the movement should take – ultimately, it split into two independent organizations, the Brontosaurus Movement and the Brontosaurus Association.
In 2014, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Brontosaurus Movement – the event was called Dort pro Brontosaura (“A Cake for Brontosaurus”) and it took place in Telč. The Brontosaurus Movement is a member of Zelený kruh (“Green Circle”), an association of environmental non-governmental organizations, as well as a member of an international group called Youth and Environment Europe, an organization devoted to children and youth work and recognized by Czech Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, and also a proud holder of a special award of the Ministry of the Environment.